By David Yusuf Kabia, Public Relations Assistant, ACC
Transparency International (TI) is a German anti-graft institution founded on 4th May 1993 by former employees of the World Bank namely, Peter Eigen, Olusegun Obasanjo, Obiageli Katryn Exekwesili, Kamal Hossain, George Moody Stuart, Fritz Heimann and more. The institution’s formation was to adequately address corruption globally as well as prevent the prevalence of crime. With its Head Quarters seated in Berlin, Germany, TI has its subsidiary in the United Kingdom. It is today the world’s most credible top-notch anti-corruption watchdog that zooms in on the corruption preventive efforts of 180 countries annually including the United States of America. Being an independent non-profit making institution that seeks to promote transparency, accountability and integrity at all levels and across all sectors of society, it operates to better the lives of people across the world by protecting public resources through the prevention and misappropriation of public resources and property.
Sierra Leone is among the 180 countries annually audited and reported on by TI. This audit is done through generating data from credible partner institutions that serve as sources for such data provided. For Sierra Leone, TI is provided with data on Sierra Leone’s corruption management by several institutions such as the African Development Bank Governance Ratings, Bertelsmann Foundation Transformation Index, Economist Intelligence Unit Country Risking Ratings, Global Insight Country Risk Ratings, Political Risk Services International Country Risk Guide, Varieties of Democracy Project, World Bank-Country Policy Institutional Assessment, World Economics Forum and World Justice Project Rule of Law Index.
Since 2018 contrary to 2017, Sierra Leone has made considerable improvement in addressing corruption and promoting transparency and forestalling integrity within the public space. In 2017 before Commissioner Francis Ben Kaifala ESQ took up the reigns of authority at the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), Sierra Leone miserably was ranked 130 out of 180 countries dropping seven (7) places downwards. In 2018, Sierra Leone made effort by moving one place upward by being ranked 129 out of 180 countries. The country further made considerable improvement in 2019 when it scored 33 points for the first time, putting it above the Sub Saharan average which is 32. That year, it was ranked 119 out of 180 countries. In 2020, it further scored 33 points and got ranked 117 moving two places upwards. 2021 saw Sierra Leone hitting the highest margin ever since the inception of the TI rankings when it scored 34 and ranked 115 out of 180 countries. This placed Sierra Leone two (2) places upward the Sub Saharan average further showing how the country’s ant-graft war is improving in the face of global difficulties and economic challenges. Today, TI has released the 2022 corruption control rankings with Sierra Leone at 110 with the same score of 34 above the Sub Saharan average and again amidst global economic meltdown posing enormous challenges to democracy.
This year’s Report shows that Sierra Leone is above 70 countries globally including 33 African countries among which are Kenya, Mali, Guinea, Liberia, Togo, Nigeria, Cameroon, Zambia, Mozambique, Egypt, Madagascar, and other countries like Bangladesh, Lebanon, Philippines, Yemen and Mexico. Sierra Leone further has made considerable improvement in other corruption control surveys like the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) scorecard moving from 49% in 2017 to 79% in 2022 while similar increases have been made for example on the Afrobarometer which recorded that corruption prevalence has reduced from 70% in 2015 to 40% in 2020.
It is on this footing that the fight against corruption must be nationally owned by each and every one of us regardless of political party lines and ethnicity because, corruption does not care about our sects inclusions nor our economic status. As Delia Ferreira Rubio, Chair of Transparency International rightly puts it, “People’s indifference is the best breeding ground for corruption to grow”.
© Public Relations Unit, ACC